Rachel Maddow told Jimmy Fallon Wednesday night that when she was presented with President Donald Trump’s 2005 tax return earlier this week, there was no question in her mind — they had to be made public. Predictably, the White House wasn’t happy about it.
The MSNBC host said on the “Tonight Show” that her show got verification of the documents from the Trump administration shortly before going on the air.
“We got a statement from [The White House], they started calling us fake news, blah blah blah, we went to air,” Maddow said. “They tried to threaten us for publishing them, which is complete bull. But I take the threat in the spirit with which it was intended.”
Maddow also gave background on how she obtained the two-page document, explaining that investigative reporter David Cay Johnston informed her that he had obtained a copy of what he believed to be one of the President’s tax returns.
“So he said, ‘If we can verify it, do you wanna put it up on TV?’ And I said, ‘Hmm, yes.'” Maddow said.
So the two did their “due diligence” and spent all of Monday and Tuesday verifying that the documents were in fact real, talking to tax experts and investigating “the chain of evidence.”
“Yesterday was nuts ’cause we had to have Plan B and Plan C ready,” she said. “What if they came back to us and proved to us it was a forgery?”
Maddow admitted to having two entire shows planned in the event the docs turned up fake.